Must Have Technology for Your Home

Quite often I get asked my colleagues or friends what gadgets I have found to be useful or fun to have at home.  Lately it seems that some of my favorites have become inexpensive and so easy to use that I thought I should share them.

Bluetooth Wireless speaker:  I have two of these and I don’t know what I did without them.  I used to always have “iPod ready” alarm clocks or speakers in bathrooms or living rooms whenever my kids or guests wanted some music.  Now with bluetooth wireless speakers you don’t have to be tied to plugins or specific rooms.  They charge fairly quickly and the batteries seem to last quite a long time.  I have a cheaper iHome little cube speaker in our bathroom that we stream Disney Pandora for my kids during bath time.  I think it only ran $25-$30 and can be found most anywhere.  I believe ours was purchased at Target.  Our other one is a little higher end.  It is a JBL model and is similar in size and shape to a pop can.  It puts out tremendous sound for its size and we often use it outside while doing yardwork, having a bonfire, etc.  There are other excellent models made by Beats, Bose, etc.  I would consider it to be a must for any household.  The sound can fill a room and offers the portability that today’s families are looking for.  We have previously used ours while golfing, going for walks, etc.  When you pair these devices with a smart phone, bluetooth mp3 player, tablet or laptop, it becomes a pretty useful device.  Some programs that definitely aid in functionality include Pandora, iHeart Radio, iTunes, etc.

Digital Video Streaming Device:  I wasn’t sure exactly how to describe this type of device, but this would be the category that would include the Chromecast, Apple TV, Roku, Kindle Fire Stick, etc.  We started off with a Chromecast due to the inexpensive cost of $35 and liked it so much we bought a second one.  Then we bought an apple TV because we wanted to easily stream our kids video content from our iTunes account.  The competitiveness in this market must have struck a cord with Apple, because they recently dropped the cost of the Apple TV from $100 to $69.  Needles to say we liked our Apple TV so much we bought a second one of those as well.  However, keep in mind that we have credit card that gives us rewards in the form of Best Buy gift certificates, so many of these items were free for us.  If you are an apple user and have more than one of the following: an iPhone, newer iPod touch, and iPad, MacBook, etc.  I would recommend the Apple TV.  It “talks” well to your other Apple devices and allows “mirroring” of your screen using the Airplay feature on the newer MacOs devices.  It also has numerous apps or channels built in to it that update frequently, so you don’t have to have an additional device to enjoy its capabilities.

The Chromecast is half the price ($35), but is limited in its ability to cast content that comes from certain apps (Hulu, Netflix, MLB.tv, YouTube, ABC, HBO Go, Disney Movies, etc.).  It can also cast a window from a Google Chrome Browser as long it is the full (not mobile) version.  So you can cast windows from your desktop in a presentation, etc.

Both the Apple TV and the Chromecast plug in to an HDMI port in your TV.  Chromecast can either be powered by a USB plugin in your TV or through an AC outlet.  Apple TV plugs in through a standard 2-pronged outlet.  The Apple TV does come with its own small remote and it can be programmed easily to be used with a universal remote as well.  If you are looking to possibly dump cable entirely I would look at Apple TV, but if you are looking for an inexpensive streaming option Chromecast might be the one for you.  If you want to use either with a TV that doesn’t have an HDMI jack, you will probably end up spending as much money on adapters, but it could be worth it.    I personally feel like every household should have at least one of these fantastic devices.

Tablet– This is one of those items that is a personal preference piece.  I know a lot of people that are Android users and love the Samsung tablets.  Being in education I am a lot more familiar with the iPad and iPad mini.  I am also intrigued by the new inexpensive Kindle Fire tablet that can miraculously survive a fall of the top of a moving mini-van (like in the commercial).  I have personally found that for kids the iPad mini is a nice size and is very versatile.  It is light enough for little hands to carry and hold and fits nicely in most any purse or backpack.  We have a Griffin Survivor case on ours and it has withstood quite a few tumbles.  If you don’t have kids and want a tablet for reading, web surfing, photos, video streaming, etc., I would go for the full sized iPad or another larger tablet.

**Something to consider** if you want something lightweight, inexpensive and portable that can connect to the web, but you really want a keyboard, you should consider a Chromebook.  You can find them n the $250-$350 price point and they load quickly and behave much in the same way as a normal laptop but without the noise and load time caused by a hard drive.  The models I have used have SD card and USB slots as well as an HDMI out.  The keyboard and screen are very similar to a small laptop, but the google login to access the device makes it perfect for multiple users in the same family (as long as they all have gmail accounts).  The best model I have seen is from Dell and comes equipped with a gorilla glass screen, a rubber coating on the outside of the case and USB plugins on both sides of the device.

What Happens to Your Facebook When You Die?

I remember when I last talked to Mark.  He called on a beautiful May day as I was just about to tee off of the first hole at the Grand Forks Country Club.  He quickly updated me that he had been really enjoying test pilot school and that things were going well.  I confirmed that things were going well with my family as well and that I would call him back in the next few weeks so that he and I could catch up.

A few months passed and one day I noticed that Facebook recommended that I “reconnect” with Mark Graziano.  I remembered that I had needed to call him back and touch base now that life had settled down a bit.  We used to live across the hall from each other in our apartment building and frequently walked across the hall to chat or ask a question much like college freshmen in a dorm.  When I clicked on Mark’s profile it was only a few days after Veteran’s Day.  I noticed that many people had posted on his wall, but I started to notice an alarming trend.  Friends were using verbs like “missing”, “remembering”, etc. to describe their feelings for Mark.  I felt the blood rush out of my head and my stomach dropped.

These are the kind of words people use to describe the deceased.  I quickly opened another window and did a Google search on Mark’s name.  The link to his obituary at Arlington National Cemetery came up.  I was just sick.  Mark was a truly special person.  He constantly tinkered with things, took new classes, and loved learning.  He built his own “squeak proof” bed with timber and tension cables and loved to buy junky vehicles and figure out how to make them run.  While he lived across the hall he pursued a Master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Idaho.  Often after watching his videotaped class he received in the mail, he would call me to come over to ask me a math question that he often didn’t really need help with, but just wanted to confirm his thought process.  He was easy-going, humble, fun to be around, and had the kind of inquisitive nature that every teacher hopes for in his or her students.

I went back to his Facebook page and read through all of the different posts his friends had written.  After many of the posts I noticed that his mother had commented back to thank everyone for their memories and kind words.  I just couldn’t stop sobbing.  Someone who was so full of life, so full of promise, never lived the long life that he deserved.  This was the first Facebook friend I had ever had pass away.  As time passed I noticed that people kept posting pictures of Mark and stories of great memories that they had together.  It became like a digital scrapbook for family and friends.  People also started posting pictures of his gravesite at Arlington and continued to share memories and feelings.  It was cathartic.  Although I truly believe that you need to live for the living, it is important to grieve in healthy ways and to remember those that are gone for the joy that they brought.  IMG_2158

When taking my student council members to the national student council LEAD conference in Washington, D.C. a year ago, I made a point of bringing them to Arlington.  In their binders I prepared for the trip I included a few articles about Mark and the history behind Arlington National Cemetery.  I made sure to post a picture from Arlington and to include  some of my memories of him as well.  His mom thanked me  and provided some great parenting advice for me, “Nathan, yes, Mark was very inquisitive.  Remembering that even as a young boy, he would be asking questions I didn’t have the answers for (with my head spinning, LOL).  The library (pre-internet) was our home.  He loved to read also, as I do, and his library was wide ranging, lots of it over my head.  If I have one thing I can tell new parents is to read, read, read to your child.  Thank you for visiting Arlington.”-Helen Doumas GrazianoScreen Shot 2015-03-17 at 1.38.40 PM

Facebook has allowed people to connect in a multitude of ways.  I have been able to see where my friends have moved, how their families have grown, and what career path they are taking.  We can share milestones, celebrations, disappointments, and sorrow from near or far.  What I wasn’t anticipating when I joined Facebook, was that it would become a living memorial for friends and loved ones.  Sometimes the unintended consequences of technology have the biggest impact.

In Memory of Mark Graziano, Kari Kalina, & Don Martindale

Impact- Those Who have Left Their Mark

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I’ve blogged a bit about the tremendous influence my family has had on my decision to be an educator, but there have been numerous teachers, coaches, and administrators along the way who have made a huge impact on my life.  I don’t think that educators often hear or see the scope of their impact, so I think it is important to share with those people from time to time how they shaped your life.  Furthermore, these educators not only helped to shape me as a person, but also taught me specific skills or lessons that i have tried to emulate in my own career.

Gloria Sanford: Mrs. Sanford was my second grade teacher and might possibly be one of the warmest and kindest people I have ever met.  She always knew when a kid needed a hug and how to make them feel at ease.  When I was in her class my parents were newly divorced and it wasn’t always easy for me to figure out where I was going after school or how to make sense of the whole situation.  There wasn’t a better teacher to look out for me at this stage than Mrs. Sanford.

Paul Lofthus: Mr. Lofthus was my 6th grade teacher and was my first male teacher.  His rapport with our students started to make me consider that it was “cool” to be a male elementary teacher.  Paul knew his students very well and blended humor with a very genuine sense of caring and strength that always put his students at ease.  As years passed, he continued to check in on me as I moved through school and even agreed to be my confirmation mentor at church.  When I was handling a lot of stress with my first teaching job he would call and debrief with me often.  He was very important in building my confidence early on and into my adulthood.

Allen Janes: Mr. Janes was my math teacher both my sophomore and senior year.  There has hardly been a teacher that I have met that put more into his craft than Mr. Janes.  He poured hours and hours into his students before and after school to help them with Calculus, Enriched Algebra and more.  He often would finish the day with hand fingers covered in marker from his overhead and marker boards.  Many times he would come up with odd terms or catch phrases to teach abstract concepts such as integral and differential calculus.  Any student of Mr. Janes would remember the phrase “glob green light” with fondness.  Furthermore, Mr. Janes made being a “mathlete” cool.  There were numerous math competitions and he always pushed us to form teams and solve problems in new ways.  We even named our team “Janes’ Addition” in his honor.  Allen is still looked to as the voice of reason and guidance among the Grand Forks and North Dakota math community and it for good reason.

Gail Ingwalson: When I switched my major from physical therapy to elementary education I always thought I would be a 4th or 5th grade teacher.  Then I met Gail.  Gail was the coordinator of the middle level education program and convinced me to add a middle level minor to my program.  She quickly became my advisor and then my favorite professor.  Even though my degree and license shows “minor”, I am a “major” believer in middle school.  Teaming and exploration are at the core of the middle school belief system and now are becoming the core of good education in general.  She has mentored hundreds of local teachers, coaches, administrators and has been the engineer of our middle school resident teacher program.  She listens, suggests, motivates and supports all of her students like a natural.  Her mentoring has encouraged countless teachers to push themselves to be leaders in their schools, curricular areas and districts.

Ed Little:  Ed was my principal at Alki Middle School in Vancouver, Washington.  My first teaching job out of college was as a 6th grade teacher at Alki and I was overwhelmed.  It was my first time being that far from home, living alone, and having my own classroom.  Even though we had a school of 1,200 students and 16 6th grade teacher, Ed made it in and out of almost every classroom, every week.  He did frequent “climate checks” in each classroom and did a great job reaching out to his new teachers and to those who were struggling.  My initial hiring letter stated I would be teaching 6th grade math and science, but I ended up being primarily an English and language arts teacher.  This is when Ed taught me was the importance of connecting teachers to each other.  As a rookie, I was so afraid to ask for help or admit that I didn’t know how to do something that I would arrive to school two hours early and stay two hours late.  Unfortunately, “grinding it out” isn’t always the most efficient use of your time as a new teacher.  Consequently, Ed connected me with a couple of veteran teachers who shared curriculum and ideas with me that they had used for years.  Although I didn’t stay in Vancouver very long, I learned so much about myself and the importance of supporting your colleagues.

Kevin Ohnstad– Kevin was the first principal to hire me back in my hometown after having taught in Washington, although it wasn’t on first chance.  He had interviewed me twice for a previous position and finally hired me on interview number three.  Kevin truly mentored and encouraged me to be the educational leader that I am today.  He pushed me to move from teaching 6th grade to move to 8th grade math because of an ability and area of strength that he saw in me.  Often his opinion or belief was the sole motivator for me to make a leap of faith or to take a leadership role.  As a result of his encouragement, I began attending national conferences, helping out with PD in our own building, volunteering to be on district committees, etc.  This led to me to enroll in graduate school, get my master’s in educational leadership and to take a challenging new role as activities director at one of our high schools in town.  Kevin has a knack for building relationships with his staff members and helping them keep their job in perspective.  Emphasizing the importance of family and sharing about them with our staff and students helped to create Valley Middle School into a caring family away from home.  In my education family, Kevin was the big brother that I really needed.

As I worked through the “Mount Rushmore” of my education, a common thread kept recurring.  Relationships.  Each of these outstanding educators cultivated relationships with me.  Some of them did it through kind words or listening.  Others did it through encouragement and support.  They cared not only about what they taught me, but how they taught it, and how I was doing while learning from them.  Emotional intelligence might be the most important of these multiple intelligence to have in education and these educators have it down pat.  Please take a moment to recognize those educators who have made a difference in your life.  Maybe the reflection will help you analyze your own work, relationships, and the priorities you have with those areound you.  So if I have one piece of advice to teachers and those who want to work in education, it’s to get to know your students and colleagues.  Ask them questions and show interest in them.  It will reward you for years to come.  Who knows, maybe someday one of your students will become a teacher too…..

Teaching and Learning; the Family Business

It has seemed like since the time I was born I was destined to be an educator.  My dad taught HS math and got his Master’s degree in educational administration before going to law school.  Even while practicing as an attorney, he still taught classes on an adjunct basis at the University of North Dakota in the areas of business law, real estate law, ed law and for the law school.  My mother has been my role model in education, having been an award-winning professor in both undergraduate and graduate teaching at the University of North Dakota for close to 40 years.  My step-father is a high school social studies teacher and former special education teacher and golf coach.  In addition, my step-mom was a reading specialist in the district for years and still loves to curl up with my boys and a good book whenever she comes over.

The family tree of education reaches further and further with an aunt in school psychology, a mother-in-law who teaches at the rival university down the road, and two step-grandfathers who were also professors.  Those in my family who didn’t go into education as a profession sought it out for their own career preparation.  Education to me has always been a shared and continuous experience in our family.  Anecdotal tales of student success, comedy and struggle have been dinner table conversation for years.  I always loved seeing the Christmas cards roll in at my mom’s house from former graduate and undergraduate students with whom she had made an impact.  This was the kind of teacher I wanted to be; the one who students came back to visit, one who they would remember, one who would impact their life and their decisions.

Having been a teacher and activities director at three different schools in town has put me in touch with many students across many grade levels.  It is so enjoyable to run into them around town- at college events, working part-time jobs, beginning careers, and even starting their own families.  It is interesting to see the path they have taken and if it matched up with what I had hoped they would be.  I ran into one of my favorite students today at a local family restaurant.  He was delivering pizzas and was pretty excited about it.  I introduced him to my son and told him that it was good to see him doing well.  A few years ago his principal had called me and put me on speaker phone with him on his graduation day from our alternative high school.  He had wanted to share this accomplishment with me and I couldn’t have been happier.  When I had him as an 8th grader he was a good sized boy and his grades didn’t always reflect his knowledge or intelligence.  However, he turned it around and it started with a declaration one morning.  “Mr. Olson, I am on a diet…….from F’s!”  He had a wry smile and I told him that I liked his plan.

He stuck to his word and boosted his grades, attitude, and work completion.  I always knew he could do whatever he wanted to because he was sharp, hilarious, and people enjoyed being around him.  He just needed to find his own way on his own schedule with the help of some adults that believed in him.  My mom has been that person for many of her students too.  Many a student has edited a dissertation or sought advisement at our house well beyond her office hours because she knew that life doesn’t always fit into a university’s schedule.  Although I am not at the Christmas card age yet for too many of my former students, I certainly have enjoyed receiving graduation invitations over the past few years.  It makes me glad that I joined the “family business.”

In Search of Heroes….

I was bothered  by the news story that broke last week about the Jackie Robinson West Little League team using players from outside their residential district to compose their team.  As Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic discussed on ESPN radio, this is quite a different situation that the Danny Almonte age scandal a few years back.  With Almonte, he was a 14 year-old playing with 12 year-olds.  He knew he was 14.  His parents knew he was 14.  His coaches knew he was 14.  They were all colluding together and all lying for the sake of success in a child’s game.  With the Chicago Little Leaguers from JRW, I would have a hard time imagining that those 11 and 12 year olds knew they were outside of the boundary lines, but someone did; an adult did.

Adults need to model ethical behavior to kids.  These decisions by adults have now tainted an amazing experiences for those kids from Chicago, for the team from Las Vegas who lost to them, and also for the team from their region who lost the opportunity to travel to Williamsport.  This drives me crazy.  I teach junior golf in the summer as a fun supplemental job to occupy my summer months when I am not teaching.  For a few years I also assisted in running a junior golf tournament program called the junior tour.  Golf is a unique sport in that players are expected to call penalties on themselves.  I would always emphasize to the players that no one will remember 2 years from now if you shoot 120, but they will remember if you cheated.  Furthermore, once someone gets in a habit of cheating or lying, the train gets off the tracks very quickly.  As a result, a person’s reputation and character can take a hit very quickly, just ask Brian Williams, Lance Armstrong, or Tiger Woods.

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As a kid, my childhood hero was Mark McGwire.  He came up as a rookie during the peak of baseball interest and slugged monstrous homers.  He played for my favorite team, the Oakland A’s, and his posters covered my bedroom wall.  I even had one with him and Jose Canseco where they were dressed up as Belushi and Akroyd with baseball bats and called themselves the bash brothers.  Then came steroids to strip away his super hero status.  How the mighty have fallen.  Even though I really looked up to him, I didn’t count on him for life advice or try and make decisions based on his career trajectory.  I had parents and teachers for those important roles. I always looked up to my parents for their incredible amount of energy and work ethic.  It would be hard call either of them a “slouch”.  My mom was a full professor at the age of 28 and around the same time my dad had already earned his master’s in educational administration, graduated from law school, and had spent time in the Air Force.  They always pushed themselves, helped others and encouraged me to do the same.

I have always tried to follow their lead in life and in my work.  They always placed a high value in developing relationships with their IMG_3138students, colleagues, clients, and friends.  Those relationships help to strengthen and enhance the work that you do, whether it be legal or educational.  That’s why I always put a lot of energy into getting to know students on more than a surface level.  Ask them questions about their pets, hobbies, etc.  Try giving them a nickname.  Ask them questions about their weekend.  Encourage them to try something new and support them when they take risks.  Kids need role models who they can see, talk to, and connect with.  Not all kids have great parental role models at home, so many times teachers and coaches can help fill this void.  Don’t be afraid to be a kid’s hero.  You don’t have to hit 500 foot homers or win a Tour De France.  Just be there for them.  It’s hard having that kind of pressure on you, but it is incredibly rewarding.  I just hope that I can continue to be “Super Daddy” to my two boys in the way that my parents were super heroes to me. IMG_1438IMG_0013

F’s- Faults, Flaws, and Fixes…What I Learned from My Big Head

IIMG_3140 used to be quite paranoid about certain physical or personal flaws or faults that I had as a child.  For example, I have a large head.  My mom would always give me the reassuring comment, “honey, you need a large head to store all the knowledge you have.”  Thanks Mom, but it doesn’t keep my little league hat from looking like a beanie on top of my huge cranium.  I have heard more than a few comments about my big melon:  kickball head, big kettle, five head (bigger than a “forehead”, bowling ball, etc.  They used to really bother me, and no amount of consoling from my parents would help.

I am not sure exactly when I changed my attitude about my head, but it has made a big difference.  I now am the first one to crack a joke about my head when in a group.  I try not to “eclipse the sun” or turn a group picture into a selfie.  My jovial attitude about my substantial nugget has reduced the comments about it and desensitized my feelings about it at the same time.  One of the teachers I used to work with would often tell our students, “the other kids can’t ‘get your goat’ if they don’t know where it is tied,” meaning that if someone is trying to bother you, don’t give them the pleasure of seeing it cause you distress.  If I make fun of myself first, they often assume that I am ok with it and leave it alone.

If you have a student or child who has something about himself or herself that causes distress, consider sharing this technique.  It is nothing new, but it is easily forgotten.  A trait hat makes you feel “weird” is actually part of a set of characteristics that makes you unique.  Embrace it.  Make fun of it.  Heck, trademark it.  Soon you may even have someone in your life that finds that trait especially endearing.

Would I like to have a smaller head?  Sure.  It would be awesome to have a few more options for hats than my favorite MLB New Era fitted 5950 caps.  However, I am a big guy, I have a big head, and that’s ok.  My favorite guys in the world all have big heads: my dad and my two sons.  I just need to teach my sons all the big head jokes at an earlier age than I learned them:)IMG_2829

Lessons Learned from the Lego Movie

Thanks to my two young boys being big Lego fans I have had the opportunity to watch the Lego Movie.  As a result of traveling to Legoland Florida this past month and purchasing a van with a DVD player, I now have had the opportunity to rewatch Lego Movie multiple times.  Every time I watch it I notice a new metaphor or lesson that have great applications in edIMG_1026ucation as well as in my role as a father.

Don’t Live Life by an Instruction Book– Emmet, the main Lego character, begins the movie going through his daily routine by a set of instructions: ordering expensive coffee, listening to the latest pop song, watching the latest sitcom, etc.  He does what everyone else does and doesn’t question why he does it.  In the other “dimension” the boy (Finn) disassembles sets, characters, and vehicles and reassembles them to meet the needs of his imagination and the story that he has created.  I mean, why wouldn’t you create a unicorn kitty?  Lego obviously gives out instructions to those who want to build the set as it was intended.  However, they reserve the title of “Master Builder” for those who can build great things without a manual.  Many of the massive structures, characters, and sculptures at Legoland have been built by Master Builders.  This concept is exactly what the maker movement is all about.  We need to encourage our students and our children to carve their own path.  Do something new.  Try something difficult.  If it fails, scrap it and build a new one!IMG_1012

Don’t Get “Stuck”– Finn’s father (Will Farrell), also known as “the man upstairs”, likes everything to be in its place and built the way the directions intended.  He goes so far as to Krazy Glue structures and characters in place so that his kids can’t mess them up.  The bottle of Krazy Glue becomes the weapon of mass destruction in the animated tale and is known as the “Kragle” (because the letters z, y and u have been rubbed off the tube).  Once something is subjected to the Kragle, it is frozen forever and cannot change.  I think this provides an interesting commentary on the creativity of adults.  Does it truly freeze or halt in adulthood?  Are we so caught up in being serious that we can’t enjoy the act of building or creating?  What is the only thing that can stop the Kragle?  The “piece of resistance” of course-otherwise known as the red cap for the Krazy Glue tube!

Being the “Piece of Resistance” Can Promote Change– Whether you are a teacher, a parent, or just want to be an agent of change, you can’t be afraid to be the “piece of resistance” in your organization.  Ask the difficult questions.  Promote positive and forward thinking.  Finally, and most importantly, never stop learning.  Sometimes you might even have to wield “the sword of exact zero” to help some of your friends, colleagues, or students to get unglued from a negative habit.

Release Control– Although it was difficult for Finn’s father to let his son take apart and rebuild his lego sets into strange and unintended creatures, he was able to see the creativity it fostered and the joy that it brought him.  You even get a glimpse into how their relationship was beginning to change as he allowed his son some freedom with his collection.  I have to remind myself of this lesson.  We will often buy my son small Lego sets and my wife and I work too hard to keep them with their original parts.  However, before we know it, Lego Batman is parking his Batmobile inside the Duplo barn while a Policeman watches from the chicken coop wearing purple pants and a racing helmet!

You are “the Special”– Part of Emmet’s motivation and drive throughout the movie is built upon the idea that he is “the special”, a once-in-a-lifetime extraordinary figure appointed by a prophecy.  However, towards the end of the movie we learn that there was no prophecy and that Vitruvius (voiced by Morgan Freeman) made it all up.  What is the message? Ordinary people can accomplish extraordinary things if they believe they can or if some else believes in them.  Take the time to encourage those around you.  Support your children in things that interest them.  Compliment your coworkers on their strengths.  We all have a little “special” in us.IMG_1035

Everything is Cool When You’re Part of a Team– When we walked into Legoland in Florida, the featured song from the Lego Movie, “Everything is Awesome”, was playing on loop by the main gift shop.  Although it is obviously cheesy, it puts things pretty simply, “Everything is awesome.  Everything is cool when you’re part of a team.  Everything is awesome, when you’re living in a dream.”

Doing great work isn’t nearly as enjoyable unless you have a team to enjoy it with.  Whether it be your class as a team of learners, your curricular team, or your family, functioning as one toward a common goal is incredibly rewarding.  I am fortunate to have been a part of several fantastic teams.  The team of curriculum technology partners I work with is fantastic.  If I have learned one thin in 36 years it’s that you can’t do it all by yourself, so don’t try.  Share the load, share the joy and don’t stop dreaming, because anything is possible.